Israel: Conscientious Objector Diane Kogan in Prison
Please send letters of support as well as letters of protest
(14.06.2010) CO Diane Kogan, 18, of the Tel-Aviv suburb of Bat Yam, was sentenced yesterday (13 June) to 25 days of imprisonment for her refusal to enlist, and was transfered today (14 June) to Military Prison No. 400 in Tzrifin. This is in fact the second time Diane is being sent to prison and the sixth time she is being sentenced for her conscientious objection.
She was first sentenced to 20 days in prison on her designated enlistment date, 15 April. However, she was then told that the military prison for women was full, and was told to report every day at the Induction Base in Tel Hashomer. Diane decided she is not willing to perform military duties de facto as a substitute for imprisonment and returned home. Diane returned to the Induction Base on 25 April and was this time sentenced to 10 days in prison and actually imprisoned. Upon her release, on 4 May, she was again sentenced for her refusal to enlist, this time to 20 days of confinement to base. She decided to go home again, for the same reasons as before, and returned when the confinement term was over, on 24 May. She was then sentenced for the fourth time - this time a conditional sentence of 7 days in prison, plus a continuation of her term of confinement to base (again - an instruction that Diane decided not to obey). On 7 Jun she returned to the Induction Base and was sentenced to 10 more days of confinement to base, and finally, yesterday, after spending more time at home, she was sent to prison for the second time. It seems the military has recently been taking some pains to avoid publicity in conscientious objection cases.
In a statement explaining her refusal to enlist, Diane Kogan says: “I refuse to enlist to the Army because I strongly believe that a military system will never help to achieve peace. The Military is a violent force because it teaches how to solve conflict by using offensive means, such as weapons and brute force. It makes no sense that one side will use violence as a way towards peace in hope that the other side will just accept it. Violence leads to violence and eventually to war, which then leads to more wars. Bloodshed is not the way and should be avoided at all cost. Therefore I wholeheartedly decline to cooperate with the military system (and its ideals), which I think is rotten from the core, and is far away from ever achieving peace among people.”
Please send letters of support. Diane Kogan is due to be released from prison on 7 July. Her address in prison is: Diane Kogan, Military ID 5776284, Military Prison No. 400, Military Postal Code 02447, IDF, Israel, Fax: ++972-3-9579389. Since the prison authorities often block mail from reaching imprisoned objectors, we also recommend you to send them your letters of support and encouragement via e-mail to: messages2prison(at)newprofile.org and they will be printed out and delivered during visits.
It is recommended as well to send letters of protest on the objectors’ behalf, preferably by fax, to: Mr. Ehud Barak, Minister of Defence, Ministry of Defence, Hakirya, Tel-Aviv 64743, Israel. eMail: sar(at)mod.gov.il or pniot(at)mod.gov.il, Fax: ++972-3-6976711
It would be especially useful to send your appeals to the Commander of the Induction Base in Tel-HaShomer. It is this officer that ultimately decides whether an objector is to be exempted from military service or sent to another round in prison, and it is the same officer who is ultimately in charge of the military Conscience Committee: Gadi Agmon, Commander of Induction Base, Meitav, Tel-HaShomer, Military Postal Code 02718, IDF, Israel. Fax: ++972-3-737-60-52
Here is a generic sample letter, which you can use in sending appeals to authorities on the prisoners’ behalf. Feel free to modify this letter or write your own:
It has come to my attention that Diane Kogan (Military ID 5776284), a conscientious objector to military service, has been repeatedly sentenced and imprisoned for her refusal to become part of the Israeli army, and is held in Military Prison no. 400 for women in Tzrifin.
The imprisonment of conscientious objectors such as Diane Kogan is a violation of international law, of basic human rights and of plain morals. This is especially clear in cases, such as Kogan’s, in which conscientious objectors are being sentenced many times for their self-same decision to refuse enlistment.
I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of Diane Kogan, without threat of further imprisonment, and urge you and the system you are heading to respect the dignity and person of conscientious objectors, indeed of all persons, in the future.
Sergeiy Sandler – New Profile, June 14, 2010 via eMail. More information at http://www.newprofile.org/english/?p=286